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Day 183 – Ash Creek

Ash creek seems to be ironically named since a large fire engulfed much of the headwaters of the stream. The hiking was not really hiking. I followed the creek drainage upwards for most of the day and was presented with mud, scrambles and giant waterfalls. It was a difficult morning. I spent much of my brainpower imagining routes up the steep incline. I jumped on large boulders, crawled up muddy banks and even scaled a waterfall with the ice cold water cascading down my back as I tried to gain the higher ground. Once a mile I would see a cairn, or some semblance of trail, but it was largely orienteering and determining how to ascend to features and landmarks on my maps. The first 10 mile took 6 hours and it was a true lesson in caution and patience to take comfortable routes up very fragile and steep terrain. It was a fun but exhausting challenge. A goal rewarded with a milder climate once I was immersed in the Pinaleno Mountains. Eventually I joined a dirt road and was spared from more cuts on my legs. Here a car pulled over, recognizing a hiker and opened up her cooler and offered anything I wanted. Unfortunately there was not beer, but the fresh fruit and juice was almost as good. It was quite amazing and unexpected trail magic. But I didn’t have to wait long got a beer. A truck was driving by and they pulled over to talk. I judged their appearance and knew I could obtain a beer from them. I told them what I have been doing the last 6 months, getting charged by a grizzly, the snow and many other tidbits to lay it on thick. In the end I walked away with two beers and their admiration. When I l do the road the bad trail started again. This trail is essential especially rough because it is overgrown with plants that have sharp thorns. My legs are so torn up. It is a really tough section and it is hard to log very many miles.

Miles 29

Total miles 5999

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